Friday, July 16, 2010

Children’s Book Review: The Animalympics Series!

What would happen if animals could participate in the Olympics? The answer to that question can be found in a delightful series of books called Animalympics. These five children’s picture books are all illustrated by Adeline Ko, but written by different authors. Each book showcases a different endangered animal and imagines that the animal joins humans in the Olympics in China. A factual page about each endangered animal is included at the end of each book, along with a page about the Olympic Games. This is a terrific opportunity for children to learn about both animals and sports! Here’s a synopsis of each book:

Jifu’s Twist of Luck
Written by Mio Debnam
Illustrated by Adeline Ko

Jifu is a South China Tiger who dreams of winning a medal in the Olympics! At first, people are scared of him, but after he makes friends with a runner named Mai, they accept him as a contestant. Jifu has some trouble finding the right event until he discovers that he’s fantastic at doing a ribbon routine in rhythmic gymnastics. Jifu is welcomed to the team!

Geoff and the Ride of His Life
Written by Louise Renwick
Illustrated by Adeline Ko

Geoff is a Black-Crested Gibbon who becomes a great cyclist! While he travels around to train, he makes friends with another gibbon named Glenda. After having a lot of fun with Glenda and his new friends, he has to head off to Beijing for the competition. He discovers that his friends are cheering for him in the stands! With his friends’ support, Geoff earns a first-place finish.

Chiru’s Lucky Seven
Written by Karmel Schreyer
Illustrated by Adeline Ko

Chiru is a Tibetan Antelope who meets a group of tourists going to the Olympics. She follows her new friends and finds herself competing in the heptathlon! She excels at some events but has a hard time handling others, especially those that require holding something. Chiru winds up with a third place finish, but is even happier that she made lots of new friends.

Esmelda Goes for Gold
Written by Susan Sprengeler
Illustrated by Adeline Ko

Esmelda is an Ostrich. Ostriches are very fast runners, but Esmelda decides she wants a new challenge in the Olympics: to be an equestrian! She heads off for training with the equestrian team and has many adventures far from home. She’s ready to win the gold! However, before the Games begin, she receives a phone call saying that her grandmother is very sick. Esmelda decides that family is more important than winning and returns home, where she and her grandmother watch Esmelda’s team win the gold medal for Dressage on TV!

Panda Goes to the Olympics
Written by Judith Simanovszky
Illustrated by Adeline Ko

This story is about a Giant Panda who loves to watch athletic events on TV. She decides that she wants to become a runner! Pandas aren’t normally good runners, so she has to work very hard to improve her running skills. Her parents are very worried about her because she’s always out of breath. They take her to the doctor who advises more rest, but the little panda refuses. When she turns up missing one day, they find her sound asleep on the ground. She realizes that she’s not really cut out for long-distance running, but then her dad tells her that they’re looking for Olympic mascots. The little panda applies and gets the job! Now she can be part of the Olympics!

You can learn more about these terrific books at and order the series on Amazon!

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of the Animalympics series to facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided by the publisher. I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book through the Amazon link above.

1 comment:

  1. This looks like such a fun series. Each animal has such a unique personality.


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